Nintendo of America Reviews

Updated April 16, 2015
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3.0
24 Reviews
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Nintendo of America CEO Satoru Iwata
Satoru Iwata
2 Ratings

24 Employee Reviews

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  1. Cost Accountant

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Nintendo of America

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Fun environment for being Corporate America. It's hard to beat working for a company whose Mission Statement is "We make products that make people smile."

    Cons

    Challenge to work for a Japanese company due to cultural and communication barriers. There is an obvious preferential treatment for Japanese employees over American counterparts.

    Advice to Management

    Stand up for your employees more often.

  2. Helpful (1)

    Not bad, not great.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Nintendo of America full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Nintendo of America is a fun place to work. The benefits the company provides are pretty good. The people who work there are generally quite nice.

    Cons

    There's not a lot of opportunity for advancement at Nintendo of America, so there is no reason to believe that accepting an entry-level position will eventually lead to something better--unless you are thinking very long term, like 20 or 30 years later. Also, the company asks a great deal for what it pays. The company will gladly provide you with a stepladder and then ask you to reach for something beyond the stars.

    Advice to Management

    I know the company is quite enamored of its "blue ocean strategy," but in many respects it pays to be aware of what is going on elsewhere in the industry. Too often, Nintendo assumes that its way of doing things is the best or only way, but that's not always true.

  3. Helpful (13)

    Fun company that has the best intentions, but stumbles along the way

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Nintendo of America full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - Benefits are good. Health insurance plans are great; normal coverage has no deductible, or better coverage has a very low deductible. There's an on-sight gym, so no more looking for parking at the Pro Club (although that's covered too if you want it). Has 401k match (though it takes 3 years to vest) and a pension plan (rare among tech companies).

    - Bonuses twice a year, up to 30% for regular employees and up to 50% for managers and higher. No stack ranking.

    - Random perks: company-wide events throughout the year (employee contests, mini E3, company picnic, etc.); above average cafeteria; employee-only Nintendo World store, but the discounts could be better (only ~25% off retail).

    - Great working environment -- causal, laid back. And in general, coworkers are very nice. Not many jerks as I've met in other companies (but there are still a few).

    - You work at Nintendo; that in of itself is pretty awesome. If you're a gamer, you'll see people who you've read about in articles just walk right down the hall or in the cafeteria. The main building is beautifully decorated with various Nintendo characters. Definitely a "wow" factor to it all -- just don't overvalue it!

    Cons

    - Compensation is decent, but definitely not as competitive as other tech companies in the area (Microsoft, Google, Amazon, etc.)

    - The NOA offices are not autonomous -- NOA reports to Japan (NCL) and it definitely shows. Since Japan pays the bills, they have a TON of say into what happens. There's a clear air of subservience among NOA employees when it comes to NCL. If you directly work with them, it's like having an additional layer of management and red tape.

    - Lack of strong engineering leadership. Many junior engineers with need of mentors, but the more experienced employees are busy with other work!

    - Very frugal with business expenses. Whether it's a $20 software license or a requisition for a new hire, everything goes under great scrutiny and process (even moreso lately due to poor sales of the Wii U right now).

    - Because of the frugality, new hires are rare and headcount is a problematic issue. People are often on multiple projects and/or shuffled around projects quite often. To contrast to a reorg at a bigger corporation, there are small changes more often as opposed to bigger changes less often.

    - The word among people who've been here for a few years is that it's next to impossible to get fired or laid off. This can be seen as a pro, but I've chosen to classify it as a con because there are quite a few people that clearly do not pull their weight or cause harm to productivity. Job advancement is tough since all the high positions are held by people who have 10, 15, or even 20+ year seniority.

    - Surprisingly few full timers who are true, dedicated gamers. Most of the hardcore players work in Product Testing (as contractors).

    Advice to Management

    To NCL: Please give NOA with more responsibilities and trust.
    To NOA: Provide low performers with growth opportunities and training, or kick them out!
    To Iwata: Please understand.

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  5. Helpful (2)

    Tons of change

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative

    I have been working at Nintendo of America full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    -Pretty cool to work for Nintendo.
    -Decent cafeteria.
    -Company store.
    -On sight gym, soccer field, sports courts.
    -Decent benefits.
    -Lots of nice people.

    Cons

    -Many tools don't work after software "upgrade".
    -Associate employees are largely displeased and mid-management is powerless to help. Concerns brought to higher management are disregarded.
    -Change is good, but too much change too fast has created an unstable, chaotic mood.

    Advice to Management

    Improve morale immediately before all the good reps go elsewhere.

  6. Helpful (2)

    Good benefits- Your experience may vary

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Coordinator
    Former Employee - Coordinator

    I worked at Nintendo of America full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits, competitive salary, casual corporate culture, Redmond campus has nice amenities, fun products.

    Cons

    I worked in two different departments, with vastly different experiences. Your VP, Director, and Manager will go a long way in determining if you like your job. A high percentage of management has been with the company for decades, which can be viewed as good or bad, and is probably a combination of both. Company runs very lean, so be prepared to put in extra hours when it gets busier. In my experience promotions were slow in coming, but again this varies from department to department. Many IT systems we used were outdated and clunky, but they were in the middle of a painfully slow upgrade process when I left so I can't say if that has improved or not. Discounts at the company store are not as good as you'll find at Microsoft or other video game companies. Be aware that contractor positions (testing, operations, contact center) do not carry nearly the same benefits or salary as a regular NOA employee.

    Advice to Management

    Find a new strategy for the Wii U before those piles of cash evaporate away.

  7. Helpful (2)

    Okay company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Nintendo of America full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits. Flexible work schedule.

    Cons

    No opportunity for growth. Once you are in a role, that is where you stay.

  8. Helpful (1)

    Intimidating, but overall fun and informative.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Contractor - Bilingual Product Specialist in Redmond, WA
    Current Contractor - Bilingual Product Specialist in Redmond, WA

    I have been working at Nintendo of America as a contractor (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    great for entry level position, great people.

    Cons

    contractor seems inflexible with allowing for upward mobility/salary improvements.

    Advice to Management

    Better hours

  9. Helpful (3)

    Good workers, management is lacking

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Nintendo of America full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The employees are great and have a positive attitude. The Hawaii house is an awesome benefit.

    Cons

    The management structure is based on promoting people for performing individual contributor tasks well, and as a result they don't lead/manage well. It can be very frustrating to work under people like this.

    Advice to Management

    My advice with upper management is to re-shape the management structure. Stop micro-managing employees, allow people to help in making decisions, talk openly and frequently with your employees, teach your managers how to manage, and create a means of measuring management performance on the leadership level instead of just looking at numbers.

  10. Helpful (2)

    Great Great Pay!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Nintendo of America full-time

    Pros

    Challenging work, awesome benefits, great pay, fun people in most cases. Great location, flexible hours within reason and great exposure to international business styles.

    Cons

    lack of clarity, lack of clear expectations at times, favoritism, unfair review processes.

  11. Helpful (4)

    Great place if you started there 20 years ago

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Nintendo of America part-time

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good pay and benefits, IF you are hired full time
    The President is a great guy with a lot of vision
    The product is one to be proud of

    Cons

    Very much a clique atmosphere, people are not friendly at all especially if you are a part time employee. Lots of negative gossip by the people who have been there a long time.

    Advice to Management

    Do something to make it easier to move from PT to FT; do something about career progression because there are so few opportunities

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